A blog about dog training and dog breeding…and other sundry matters

Posts tagged ‘cancer’

The Last Run: Never underestimate the Human Spirit

April is Cancer Awareness Month, and I want to dedicate this little space to those still on this earth who struggle with this terrible disease.

Every year around this time I remember a remarkable young woman who fought first breast cancer then AML leukemia.  Her name was Lis Kristoff.   At the time when she was diagnosed with leukemia, she was told that she had just three weeks left to live.  Instead of remaining in hospital where she’d been receiving a lot of blood products, she asked to be released from hospital for a short while to live her final dream:  to run her beloved dog, Diva, one last time in an agility contest.

If Diva and Lis won that competition, the two would have earned their ADCH, the highest agility award possible, and Diva would be only the second dog of her breed to ever win this title.  The doctors agreed to release Lis, and she ran her dog the following day.  Here’s the video of that final run.

Lis’ and Diva’s Last Run

I never met Lis; in fact, we lived thousands of mile apart.  Her story inspired me, and today two years after her passing, she continues to inspire me and thousands of other people by her indomitable spirit.  Lis proved to us that the human spirit is bigger than any obstacle, especially the one called cancer. Her legacy lives on through the inspiration she left behind.

To read an interview that she did after this final run, click here.  Click here to read her very moving letter that she wrote saying goodbye to her friends.

Do not give up.  There’s so much that you can do.  You have so much to offer the world.

Facebook: Bringer of Joy, Breaker of Hearts

I’ve just “discovered” facebook.  Last year invitations from high school friends flooded my yahoo inbox.  I even got invites from family members, but I refused to join.  I wasn’t ready to take on the social pressures that came with an account on Facebook.  You know, the kind where you have to look into other peoples’ lives through their photo albums, and respond to all of their messages so that no one felt slighted.

I finally relented and set up my account, and can honestly say that I love Facebook.  I not only connected with old friends and colleagues, but got the opportunity to really get to know people whom I interact with face-to-face on a daily basis.

During the course of the day, I’m so busy accomplishing tasks that I don’t stop to really get to know those whom I work with–their interests, life’s journey, challenges, joys, sorrows.  Through Facebook, I see and hear what interests them; they come alive through their photo albums, through their comments. Facebook makes these folks real; it gives them an authentic voice, because I see them as more than just professionals.  They are living, feeling human beings.

Today my colleague O lost her cat.  I have known her for a few years, but never knew that she had a cat.  Yesterday a group of dogs chewed it up; today it died.  I heard her anguish; and, as a fellow animal-lover, I felt her pain.  She asked for some advice, and I could give it to her.

I learned too, that my best friend who went to prep and high school and boarding school with me died two years ago from cancer.  That was truly devasting news.  After high school we lost touch, but over the years I googled her name, hoping to at least find where she was.  Nothing came up.  It wasn’t until I connected with another classmate that I got the terrible news.

Then to my great joy, I found my old college roommate, V.S., whom I haven’t spoken to in like six years.  I was so happy to find her on Facebook and reconnect with her.  So in the space of one evening I experienced incredible joy, and had my heart broken!  Such are the pressures of Facebook, but it’s worth it.

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